Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Bullying about Toy Soldiers?

I discovered The Miniatures Page  (TMP) in 2002 and have found it a useful and amazing source for hobby news.  Bill Armintrout does a great job with his site and I salute him for it. Through TMP I have come into contact with many others who enjoy this great hobby.  On the other hand, with the exception of message boards that have a narrow focus, I have become more and more disenchanted with the general tone, disparaging remarks and personal attacks on the general message boards. I would like to assume that I am immune to cyber-bullying and I have not personally experienced the phenomenon. I have dealt with bullies in real life and have learned how to deal with them. 

 Representatives of the evil, capitalistic gaming business empire?

But what's up with the bullying on TMP?  When you think of it, no matter how passionate we are about our hobby, at the end of the day we are playing with toy soldiers!

The electronic world and the internet has brought us the ability to exchange ideas and share information about our great hobby.  I love the internet and the resources it provides. Healthy, lively and respectful debate is good.  When I taught Military History, I used to tell my students if you bring in 20 historians into my room you will get 20 different answers as to who was the better general, Grant or Lee.

Unfortunately, over the years, I have noticed an increasing trend in the wargaming community with constant complaints about successful business models in the hobby; primarily Games Workshop (GW) and Battlefront. If you don't like them, don't buy their stuff!  GW and Battlefront have probably done more to introduce people to miniature wargaming than all of the other companies combined.
GW produces the Warhammer series of rules which have in the past been adapted for Ancients, ECW, WW I, etc. GW also publishes the excellent Warmaster set of rules and was responsible for Warmaster Ancients. And if you haven't noticed, Black Powder and Hail Caesar are the direct descendents of Warmaster. They have been innovative with multi-part hard plastic figures which historical miniature lines are now benefiting from the ground work they laid.
 I will personally help Battlefront destroy World War II!  What?  It's only a game. You mean New Zealand is not trying to take over the world?  And why do the hobbits live there now?

Flames of War?  It's a game. What, you say tanks don't line up and fire at the enemy?  Dang.  Thought I saw that in the desert and in a few other urban environments.  Do we use terrain in rule life. Yep.  Do we sometimes line up in real life. Yep.  Oh well . . . I'll stop. This might start a new thread on TMP.
It's elementary my dear Watson.  Wargames Foundry is trying to make a profit.
And yes, Wargames Foundry figures are expensive. There are cheaper alternatives.  I love Wargames Foundry figures; I look for them on eBay.  For awhile, every time Wargames Foundry raised their prices, you would think it was a personal sign from the antichrist if you followed the message threads on TMP. Wait a minute, they are toy soldiers right?  And the purpose of Wargames Foundry (I'm making a bold assumption) is to make a profit, or a least not a loss?  Let the market decide.
Anyway, I like Warhammer and used to play it a lot; it's the rule set I used for ancients for over 15 years. My fantasy gaming is basically Warmaster and Lord of the Rings these day, but we used to have quite a bit of Warhammer Fantasy in the house. My favorite army, because I could use it for historical play, is the Kingdom of Bretonnia. Heck, I like flags and heraldry!

 Historical or Fantasy?  Maybe both?

So here's to you Games Workshop, Battlefront, Warlord Games, Wargames Foundry, Perry Miniatures and others!  Thanks for investing your time, money and effort to provide me with a pleasant hobby. After all, for many of you it is your livelihood and puts the food on the table.

And yes to the message boards on TMP: They are toy soldiers. I have seen real war and this isn't it.  It's a fun hobby and let's keep it that way.

Regular 6 out.



    Problems I had beyond the general public of the place... I don't go there any more unless a discussion links through to my blogs for some reason and that's only so I can keep up with what folks may be saying about one of our rule sets. I rarely bother to join in...

    1. Clarence - Thanks. By the way I thoroughly enjoy Victory Without Quarter! Great set of rules.

  2. Well said! I avoid forums in general as they tend to devolve into name calling all too frequently. They can be useful, but they do attract the minority who don't know how to behave. The Hobbits all live in NZ now because off our casual dress-code. No shoes is the order of the day :-)

  3. Although relatively new to war gaming, I have noticed what you have mentioned, and agree with your thoughts. And I like Black Powder, Hail Caesar, Foundry, and my GW Empire army :)

  4. Welcome the club regards TMP. It's a big club indeed and we all have our own unpleasant tales to tell it seems.

    I think a lot of the problem people have with companies like GW (myself included) is not their desire to make a profit as such. They're a business and need to do that to stay alive and pay staff decent wages. It's the way they go about it that rankles. Constantly nerfing someone's < 2 year old army to sell new kit is distasteful and not especially smart business either. Their share price and P&L reflect that too...

  5. I agree with you 100%, Neil! I've been avoiding TMP and all forums as I would much rather enjoy the hobby and have found many kindred souls on the blog sphere. It's much less stressful sharing in the blogs, and I can still keep up with the latest from many of the authors too!
    NCO and veteran of several dust ups, " light" infantry, and still serving....I'll be guarding the flanks, Sir. ;)

  6. Lead Adventure Forum and The Wargames Website have much saner moderation than TMP. For one thing,mthey have "no politics" rules and they mean it.

    1. I'll have to check them out and thanks for the recommendation.